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PIRC lab provides resources to assist MCC students

(Photo: Tania Ritko/ Mesa Legend)
(Photo: Tania Ritko/ Mesa Legend)

The Psychology Information Resource Center, or PIRC lab, has been at MCC since it was established in 1989 by Jim Ferguson and started out just as a couple of computers Ferguson had built himself.  By using student lab fees, he was able to fund a new computer almost every year until he retired.

Wynn Call, a professor at MCC brought the PIRC to life during his 15 years as chair of the Department of Psychological Science.  The lab contained nine computers by the time it was moved to the AD building, but the new place didn’t have any tables. Dr. Call requested use of the old tables from the library that had been thrown out during construction. Those same tables hold more than 15 computers that are constantly being utilized by students today.

With funding from the college, the PIRC has become a resource center for students and professors. Dr. Tran-Nguyen oversees a group of tutors who work in the lab to help psychology students with their various classes. Assistance is also given on APA formatting for psychology papers.

Professors have started to use the PIRC more and more for assignments and labs. Several teachers offer extra credit for students who watch psychology related movies in the lab. These movies are offered every Friday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and free popcorn is provided. Instructors also offer extra credit for attending and writing summaries about psychology evening lectures, the information for which is found on the bulletin in the PIRC.

Videos from previous lectures are recorded on flash drives that can be borrowed and used in lab, along with headphones that are connected to each computer. Other resources found on the bulletin at the PIRC are all the courses offered by the Department of Psychological Science, photos of psychology professors matching their names, Friday movie descriptions, and Psi Beta announcements.

Psi Beta is the National Honor Society in Psychology, an organization for which MCC has received great recognition. Psi Beta and the PIRC lab brought world-renowned psychologist Dr. Phil Zimbardo to campus. Over 4,000 people were in attendance at his event and spectators had to be moved to the Kirk Center to watch the lecture on a big screen.

The PIRC lab provides a positive atmosphere where students can ask all kinds of questions and get help from various sources. It’s full of models, maps, and diagrams. There are psychology textbooks available for use inside the facility that are more specialized than the books in the library.  Additional books were donated by faculty belonging to the American Psychological Association.

Free printing is available for current psychology students.The PIRC lab is a valuable resource for students and professors. It’s open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Information from PIRC lab.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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